Should We Have Legal Drinking Age

John McCardell Jr., tired of battling campus drinking during his tenure as president of Middlebury College, wrote a column in the New York Times attacking the drinking age of 21 as “bad social policy and terrible law.” Although teenagers drink their fair share of alcohol, they disproportionately suffer deaths from alcohol poisoning. In fact, 75% of deaths from alcohol poisoning occur between the ages of 45 and 54. While many factors likely play a role, the simplest explanation is that young people are more physically resistant to large amounts of alcohol. This explanation is supported by research showing that tolerance tends to decrease with age. Once you turn 18, you are legally an adult. With this freedom comes many responsibilities. They can enter into legal contracts, be tried as adults and sent to an adult prison, and raise or adopt children. Eighteen-year-olds are employed in a number of professions where other people`s lives are at stake, such as paramedics or firefighters. And, of course, they take on one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: active military service. The United States also has a higher prevalence of alcohol-related problems such as alcohol use disorders, alcohol dependence, and harmful alcohol use than many European countries – all have lower drinking ages and higher rates of alcohol consumption. The United States even has a higher prevalence of “episodic excessive use” in its population than developed countries such as Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain.

It is clear that the world`s highest drinking age does not have the dramatic benefits prescribed by our society. It is strange that a country that values individual freedom is such an exception and yet has so little to show. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), alcohol consumption among people ages 18 to 20 dropped from 59 percent to 40 percent in the six years following the change. Alcohol consumption also decreased from 70% to 56% among those aged 21 to 25 over the same period. It`s high time U.S. lawmakers recognized that a legal drinking age of 21 makes no sense. It`s time to join the rest of the modern world`s agenda by setting the legal drinking age at 18. The Uniform Drinking Act, which forced states to set the legal drinking age at 21 by withholding ten percent of highway funding from states that left the legal drinking age at 18, is an example of the federal government`s encroachments on state affairs. Many states satisfied with their MLDA 18 have bowed to federal pressure instead of losing millions of dollars in annual funds for highways. [15] Police tend to ignore or under-enforce LOL 21 due to resource constraints, legal barriers, the perception that sanctions are inadequate, and the time and effort required for processing and paperwork. It is estimated that two out of every 1,000 cases of illegal alcohol consumption by youth under the age of 21 result in arrest.

[18] “If you are old enough to fight and die for your country, you are old enough to drink a beer. This argument succeeded in lowering the drinking age in most states during the Vietnam era. However, these arguments were not sufficient to prevent the drinking age from rising to 21 in the 1980s. While this inconsistency is unfair, people who defend the drinking age say “public safety” is more important than fairness. “Research shows that this saves lives,” agreed Jan Withers, national president of MADD. In fact, it`s one of the best-researched public health laws on books. When the law was raised to 21, alcohol-related deaths among youth decreased; When the drinking age was lowered, deaths increased. Of course, Heath`s idea has no chance of becoming law in the foreseeable future.

Thirty years ago this week, Congress passed a bill effectively raising the national drinking age to 21. Despite subsequent efforts to lower it in some countries – and the fact that most developed countries allow young people to drink legally at the age of 18 – this threshold has remained firmly in place ever since. According to the National Center for Addiction and Drug Abuse, underage drinking accounts for 17.5% ($22.5 billion) of alcohol consumption spending in the United States. [16] The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that 24.8% of adolescents aged 14 or 15, 46.7% aged 16 or 17 and 68.3% aged 18 to 20 drink alcohol. [49] This means that an overwhelming majority of those under 21 drink alcohol anyway. There is no point in ruining someone`s life by drinking minors when responsible drinking habits can be encouraged from the age of 18.

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